By Roland Wilkerson, Novant Health Healthy Headlines
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Updated boosters that have been formulated to take on the most recently circulating COVID-19 Omicron variant will soon become available at Novant Health following Sept. 1 approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Updated Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use as a single booster dose to be given at least two months following primary or booster vaccination. It’s the first time during the pandemic that a booster formulated to target a particular variant has been made available.
Specifically, these vaccines add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine composition. The goal: help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading.
Remember, COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, continue to save lives and prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While many vaccinated people have gotten COVID, the vaccines do an excellent job at preventing serious illness, public health experts agree.
As we move into cooler seasons with more time spent indoors, public health experts say all individuals who qualify should receive the recommended updated booster vaccine.
People who are at higher risk for serious illness or come into close contact with others who are more vulnerable are especially encouraged to get the booster.
The eligibility parameters are a little different for each vaccine. Here are the specifics:
– Moderna COVID-19 updated vaccine: Individuals 18 and older are eligible for a single booster dose if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
– Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 updated vaccine: Individuals 12 and older are eligible for a single booster dose if it has been at least two months since they have completed primary vaccination or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Eligible? Schedule yours here or call your primary care physician’s office to see if they offer COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
In the coming weeks, the CDC also expects to recommend updated COVID-19 boosters for other pediatric groups. Healthy Headlines will provide updates as information becomes available.